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Author: Rob Brooks

Legendary Bikes: Vincent Black Shadow Series C

When the topic of the world’s most historic motorcycles is discussed, often among the first to come up in conversation is the iconic Vincent H•R•D Black Shadow. Jet black throughout save chrome pipes and various polished bits, the Black Shadow of the late 40s-mid 50s is still a stunner to behold, whether in photos, video or in person. There is something alluring yet menacing about the motorbike, with those sexy curved chrome pipes, that distinctive 50 degree OHV 998cc v-twin and those blacked out engine casings decades before it was modern-hip. These where the original “Black Edition” motorcycles.

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Playing In The Dirt Again

I am chasing Barry down another rarely-travelled unpaved road out in east central Georgia, barely able to make out his silhouette ahead of me from the cloud of red clay and gravel dust he and others ahead of him are kicking up. I’m alternating between sitting and standing, bouncing and sliding along about 45 mph, hard on the little 300’s throttle, trying to keep them at least vaguely in sight. I am telling myself, audibly at times, “Relax, breathe, keep a loose grip on the grips, let the bike float and move beneath you. You’re doing fine.”

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Riding a Classic

The “modern retro” segment in motorcycling is filled with motorbikes that hearken back to the “golden age” of motorcycling of the 60s-80s. And brands with bikes in that segment sell them by the droves, especially these past three years. I believe that is no coincidence. Young and old(er), we seek to touch that bygone age, to rediscover and feel it, even if only for a few miles and minutes.

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Royal Enfield Debuts A Modern Classic

Royal Enfield North America pulled the covers off their all-new, re-engineered Classic 350 down in historic Savannah, Georgia. The legendary motorcycle company revealed the brand new Classic to select journalists from across North America, and we were honored to be counted among them.

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Honda’s Hooligan- 2022 Honda CB1000R

We were granted the opportunity to sample a CB1000R Black Edition for a little over a month, and what struck me first was the attention to detail in this all-blacked out motorbike. No substantial chrome or brushed aluminum anywhere, from the tank and fenders, to the forks, wheels, radiator and airbox covers, swingarm, headers and pipes, you name it. Black on black. To top it off, Honda tacked on very nice machined bits all around, on the handlebar clamp, swingarm pivots, rear hub, wheel spokes, footpeg mounts and engine covers. This bike is an attention-getter, everywhere we’ve ridden and parked it.

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Lane Filtering Gains Traction

Arizona has approved a bill that will allow the practice of lane filtering in stopped traffic across the state. The law goes into effect at the end of their 2022 legislative session, meaning September. The practice, which essentially means motorcyclists passing in between vehicles and lanes when traffic is at a standstill, was signed into Arizona law a few days ago, and gives riders the option to pass around automobiles stopped in the same lane. Utah has been experimenting with a similar initiative since 2018, and has since extended their research another five years to fully gather data on the safety success of lane filtering in their state.

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Top 10 Motorcycle Brands in America for 2021

Still in the thick of the Covid pandemic last year, the motorcycle industry nonetheless had another banner year, posting positive sales numbers by 2021 year-end. In the US of A alone, motorcycle sales across all categories were up by 21.8% since 2019, with even scooter sales up by 19.6%. Dual-sport and ADV sales skyrocketed, up 18.6% over 2020, which itself was up a whopping 46.2% over 2019, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. People followed the “social distancing” mandates by hopping on motorcycles and rolling out into the wide world of fresh air and open spaces.

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A Triumph T120 and a Gibson Les Paul

Music and motorcycles. They just fit together, like crimson and clover. Like Jack and Diane. Bikers love great music, and many musicians love the freedom of riding motorcycles. Think Elvis to Keith Urban. From the Mods and Rockers of London, to the “Easy Riders” and biker clubs across the States, music and motorcycling are inseparable.

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Indian Motorcycle’s FTR “Championship Edition”

Indian Motorcycle’s re-entrance into the world of American Flat Track racing has been nothing short of stunning these past several years. The FTR750 has dominated the motorcycle racing series, reestablished the fabled “Indian Wrecking Crew” of yesteryear, and has birthed a street-going version in Indian’s FTR 1200, itself a popular seller. With five consecutive AFT championships under their belt, the American motorcycle company rolled out a special commemorative model of the FTR, dubbing it the “Championship Edition”.

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